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€1.7m interim payment for brain damaged boy

A BOY who allegedly suffered brain damage at his birth in a Tipperary hospital has settled his High Court action for damages with an interim payment of €1.7m for the next two years.

Ryan Brennan (13), who has cerebral palsy, will need constant care for the rest of his life.

Through his mother Lorraine Brennnan of Avondale Court, Cahir, Co Tipperary, Ryan sued a consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology  at St Joseph's Hospital, Clonmel, Co Tipperary, Brendan Powell and the HSE for alleged negligence, breach of duty and breach of contract at the time of his birth in January 2000.

Michael Counihan SC, for Ryan, said the settlement was without admission of liability and against the HSE only. The case against Mr Powell, he said, could be struck out with no order.

It was claimed that Mrs Brennan was admitted to St Joseph's Hospital in January 2000 just after term and in early labour.

It was further claimed that in a 15-minute period starting at noon on January 15, 2000, significant abnormalities were present in the foetal heart rate tracing which would be seriously abnormal and consistent with a very high risk of foetal hypoxia and it was sufficient to merit immediate obstetric review.

Ryan was born at lunchtime and was in poor condition and described as flat and pale with poor muscle tone. He had to be resuscitated and later suffered seizures.

It was claimed he suffered major irreversible brain damage rendering him permanently incapacitated, disabled and in need of constant care throughout his life.

Approving the settlement, Ms Justice Mary Irvine said it was in the upper parameters of these type of cases which come to court.

When the case comes back to the High Court in two years time, Ryan's future care needs will be assessed. The €1.7m payment includes a payout so the family can build a new home.

Outside court Ryan parents, Lorraine and Raymond Brennan said they were glad the case was now over and said it had been " a long hard slog" to get to this stage as their son was now 13 years of age.

Mrs Brennan said the settlement would not compensate her son but will mean he will have all the things he needs so he can have a better life. Ryan she said is a sociable, lovely boy who likes pony riding and swimming and being with other children.

Online Editors